152 Kerr Street, Fitzroy
03 8657 8578
- Trio Dips
- Roasted Eggplant
- Spicy Wingettes
- Pumpkin Pockets
- The Phoenician
We were off to a fantastic start to our Lebanese meal with a gorgeous spread of Mezze.
The Trio Dips were simply delightful. The dips featured a smokey and creamy baba ghanoush, nutty and earthy hummus, and the light and tangy labne. This was served with both crispy and soft varieties of pita bread, where the crispy variety offered an incredible crunch and the soft pita perfectly mopped up the dips.
The Roasted Eggplant was definitely a highlight of the evening. Cooked to great softness in a fragrant tomato reduction, the gooey, comforting chunks of eggplant was paired with sauteed onions, garlic and chilli that created a flavourful experience. The appetising sauce was just perfect when combined with slices of chargrilled Turkish bread.
We then dug into the Sujuk. Within the freshly roasted dish, the slices of flavourful, slightly spicy sujuk were bold and appetising. The once again rich and flavoursome tomato base beautifully complemented the meaty sausages, while the sweetness of the roasted capsicum and creamy feta rounded out the dish and made for a full assault on the tastebuds!
The Spicy Wingettes weren’t bad either. Comparable to devil wings, the spice was strong though not overwhelming. With a hint of Tabasco in the aftertaste, the lightly battered wings definitely kept us licking our lips long after.
Then, The Phoenician arrived. Topped with Char-Grilled chunks of baby lamb fillets that have been cooked to perfection, the slight charred outer offered an amazing fragrance and a slight crispness, enclosing a still-pink inner that was incredibly juicy and tender with plenty of flavour. This was paired with a beautiful, fresh ancient grains salad that offered up plenty of textural diversity, with coarse, crunchy and soft elements all mingled and held together by a creamy cumin yoghurt.
Our meal concluded on a sweet note with the K-isme. With the appearance of an extravagant Baklava, the crisp layers of filo pastry sandwiched an inner of orange and rose water infused ricotta. The divine ricotta mixture was creamy and rich, with a beautiful hint of fruity goodness and a silky texture. Surrounding the sides were roasted pistachio that offered up an amazing crunch, and the drizzle of cinnamon sugar syrup tied the whole dish together.
Lebanese cuisine is often associated with greasy kebabs perfect for a hangover cure. ISME though has undoubtedly buckled that trend, offering a creative and refined dining experience that’s full of flavour, well balanced in textures, and embodies the very things that make Middle-Eastern cuisine so great.
The fresh, quality ingredients, mixed with plenty of spices and executed to perfection. You’re bound for a delicious time at this trendy Lebanese eatery.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Penguineats would like to thank ISME for inviting us.